Approximately 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia. Educating children about the importance of hand hygiene as well as the how and when to wash your hand is a key factor in promoting good health and wellbeing. SureWash: A Kid’s Journey is an all-in-one interactive mobile app that provides educators, schools, and hospitals, with the resources they need to promote healthy habits among children.
Hand washing in schools
Hand hygiene is extremely important in schools to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses. According to The Global Hygiene Council (GHC), almost half (42%) of children aged 5-10 do not always use soap when they wash their hands at school. The survey assessed primary school children’s hygiene awareness and habits across seven countries during COVID-19. It found that in all countries, usage of soap was higher at home than in school settings.
Whilst the majority of children may know that they should be washing their hands, many are not actually putting it into practice, so there is a clear gap in educating them about the importance of handwashing.
– Dr. Gandra, Assistant Professor of Medicine Sumanth Gandra MD, from the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
We need to ingrain the importance of handwashing into the next generation, ensuring they build healthy habits from a young age. Educating young children in a fun and interactive way about the importance of handwashing is critical. This should be reinforced both in the home and in school.
Developing healthy, lifelong habits
Teaching children about the importance of hand hygiene and how to hand wash from an early age is a great way to encourage a lifelong habit. It’s like when we learn to tie our shoelaces or ride a bike as a child – you need to practice continuously and once you know how to do it, you never forget.
It’s important for children to understand why hand hygiene is so important to help encourage good hand washing behaviours. Effective handwashing can prevent the spread of germs. However, young children can lack a fundamental understanding of germ transfer. Therefore, a good starting point is explaining what germs are, where they may be, and the effects they have on your health. Education specialists from A Germ’s Journey recommend some very useful activities to teach your children about germs and the importance of handwashing. These include ‘Glitter Germ’, ‘Pepper and Soap Germs Experiment’ and much more. Learn about some of their fun activities here.
Teaching the correct hand hygiene technique
Although teaching children about the importance of washing their hands is a fundamental step in promoting good hand hygiene, teaching them how to do it correctly is also very important. Without using the correct hand washing technique, children can miss many parts of their hands during hand washing. A quick splash and dash will simply not suffice. So, what is the correct handwashing technique? According to the WHO, to ensure all surfaces of the hands are clean, you must follow a 6-step process.
Once you have wet your hands and applied your soap, the following technique should be used:
- Rub your palms together
- Clean the backs of each hand
- Rub in between your fingers
- Interlock your hands to clean the backs of your fingers
- Clean both thumbs
- Finish by cleaning your fingertips
SureWash are industry experts in teaching this exact technique to healthcare workers so that it becomes a habit. Now in collaboration with A Germ’s Journey, we make our education and training accessible to children around the world.
The all-in-one app for teaching children the why, how, and when of hand washing
In collaboration with education specialists from A Germ’s Journey, we have developed a hand washing education app for children. It provides educators, schools, and hospitals with a unique tool for teaching children about the importance of hand hygiene. Our fun and interactive educational app will enable children to understand the why, the how, and the when of hand hygiene to help prevent illnesses and support their own health and well-being.
‘SureWash: A Kid’s Journey’ incorporates the core SureWash technology that is used in healthcare settings globally. It teaches children how to wash their hands correctly following the WHO technique. To support this training, it also incorporates educational games and resources from A Germ’s Journey. Through play, young children can now learn how good hand hygiene helps prevent illnesses, supporting their own health and well-being. We want to support schools around the world in teaching children a life-long habit. We make learning about germs and the importance of hand washing fun, engaging and interactive for all involved.
If your school or hospital would like to learn more about SureWash: A Kid’s Journey, please contact us below:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?’ Available here: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html